Steel Farm Wins ‘Small Project’ Category at the UK Passivhaus Awards

AECB Member; Mark Siddall

On the 7th July Steel Farm became the national winner of the Small Project Category at the UK Passivhaus Awards.

“It is an honour and a privilege that peers, members of the Passivhaus Trust, voted Steel Farm winner of the Small Project Category. It faced stiff competition. Winning the award is testament to the ambitions of Trevor and Judith Gospel, and their heroic decision to build a low energy house in the challenging, yet beautiful, heart of rural Northumberland.” says Mark Siddall, AECB member, Board Trustee and Passivhaus Architect.

Steel Farm is located near Hexham in the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (ANOB). Built using traditional construction technology it is the first Certified Passivhaus in Northumberland.

A reinterpretation of the traditional Northumberland farmstead materials and form are in harmony with the region. Windows are proportioned and positioned to act as the eyes to the world, playfully revealing views and vistas at critical moments. This nuanced design, constructed using a sensible budget, culminates in a vibrant home with a distinct sense of place.

Finances were tight so careful consideration had to be given to the budget at all times. …so even if they were desired elaborate, self-indulgent architectural gestures could not be afforded. The remote rural location, limited access to utility mains, and onerous planning restrictions incurred significant costs and have strongly influenced design.

These days best practice design can cut space heating bills by 90% without causing overheating. Because of this, and the remoteness of the site, it was natural for Trevor and Judith to want a house that was designed to the Passivhaus Standard – the world’s leading quality assurance standard for low energy buildings.

To celebrate winning the 2015 UK Passivhaus Award for the small projects category architect Mark Siddall has prepared an in-depth 3-part case study “How to Successfully Design and Build Your Own Home …Without Breaking The Bank”.

Learn more and get free instant access at